Effective 02 December 2010, the Philippine Embassy in Madrid will officially start processing applications for the new Electronic Passport (ePassport).
The new features of the ePassport include:
- An integrated circuit chip which contains the passport holder’s data as found on the passport datapage, biometrics of the passport holder, a unique ID number and a digital signature
- Faster verification of the identity of the passport holder during immigration and security checks at international airports / borders
The ePassport is compliant with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the international body responsible for establishing and monitoring global standards for the security and integrity of passports and other travel documents.
The requirements for the processing and issuance of the ePassport are:
- Personal appearance of the applicant
- Duly completed passport application form (may be downloaded here or obtained from the Consular Section at the Embassy)
- Original and photocopy of previous passport (for renewals)
- Cash payment of 60.00 euros
- Photos are no longer required, it will be taken digitally upon application, but applicants are required to wear the following:
- For men: decent shirt with collar
- For women: decent attire, with or without collar; no sleeveless shirts, no plunging necklines.
Processing time is 4-6 weeks as all passports are processed in a centralized facility in the Philippines.
In view of the international requirement for travelers to have passports valid for at least six (6) months for travel purposes, applicants are reminded to regularly check the validity of their current passports. Passports may be renewed before the expiration date.
Green and machine readable (maroon) passports remain valid until the expiration date indicated in the passport. Holders of these types of passports may however, apply for the new ePassport if they wish to avail of its enhanced security features.